Everyone is searching for answers. Why do mass shootings keep happening? In fact, why are they increasing?
My heart is broken for the parents and families in Uvalde, Texas. Along with those from Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland, they have become members of a club no one wants to join. How do we spare our fellow Americans from this kind of pain in the future? There is an answer. There is hope—unless we continue to ignore the primary cause.
Last night Joe Biden scolded, “When in God’s name are we going to have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby?” He appealed to God but then he swept God under the carpet, as though God was irrelevant to the conversation—except as an exclamation point. Apparently, Biden doesn’t feel God needs to be part of the solution. I believe God is the foundational solution. However, let’s take a moment to evaluate the problem and the possible solutions.
The core problem is not guns. You can take guns away and they will use knives. I first made that statement in 2014 while speaking to a group in Washington, D.C. I pointed out that the same day Adam Lanza shot 20 school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Min Yingjun stabbed 22 children in a school on the other side of the globe in central China. Eerily, twelve days later Alex Hribal attacked 21 fellow students at Franklin High School in Pennsylvania—with a knife.
The core problem is not a lack of police, even though having more police would help contain the savagery. Hiring more police is like trying to clamp the lid down tighter on a boiling pot to keep it from boiling over. It will help, but eventually the pot will still boil over.
The core problem is not absent dad’s, even though almost every shooter this past year has had one thing in common—a largely absent dad. We need to get dad’s back into the home, but broken dad’s can’t build healthy children.
The core problem is not the technology that often emotionally alienates us from each other. Alienated people are capable of doing horrible things, such as mass shootings—or mass stabbings. Of course, getting our kids to interact face to face with us more often would help.
The core problem is not the actors in Hollywood who get rich modeling that violence can solve all your problems. However, recognizing that those actors bear part of the blame for the glorification of violence which assaults our children’s minds will be necessary to ending the genocide.
The core problem is not the video games which teach our children violent behavior through role play day after day after day. However, limiting our kids’ exposure to such powerful influences while their brains are developing would help.
The core problem is not mental health, although heightened awareness and better treatment for the mentally ill would help to draw them out of the isolation which feeds their anger and angst. Mental illness is usually a symptom of a deeper problem.
Our core problem is spiritual, therefore any effective solution must address the spiritual dimension. Alienation from God leads to alienation from each other, and even alienation from ourselves. Alienation is the primary cause of marital failure, deadbeat dads, mental illness, drug addiction, child abuse, suicide and the internal rage which incubates violence. It is a logical progression. As a culture we are roaring down this path at breakneck speed.
No matter how many laws we pass, no matter how many cops we put in schools, no matter how many guns we confiscate, no matter how much we restrict our kids’ access to violent movies and video games, our children will never be safe if we do not deal with the underlying alienation from God (and each other) that births violence.
When this country was first founded, the average person heard approximately 3,000 sermons during the course of their lifetime regarding their accountability to God and their resulting responsibility for their fellow man. That mindset was the impetus behind the Civil War—our accountability to God for how we treated our fellow human beings who were also created in God’s image. We have ripped that consciousness out of our culture to our own detriment—and to the harm of our children.
God, Himself, is the core issue: not guns or knives, not Hollywood, not video games, not absent dads, not lack of police, not mental illness. Until we willingly chose to put God back at the center of our society, our schools, and even our churches, we will condemn our children to increasingly experience the inevitable consequences of our culture’s choice to expel God.
The only question is, do we possess the courage to inject God back into our culture and the communities where we live? If we win this single battle we will ultimately win all the others. If we lose this battle we most assuredly will lose all the others. Our children’s future is literally on the line. The choice has never been clearer—we must make God the watershed issue in our communities, schools and homes. If we don’t, it’s going to get worse!
But there is hope. You can be a part of the solution. Teach the children you love who God is and why it matters. Show them how to begin a relationship with the One who can give them strength, courage, love, compassion—and hope.
The 4 Keys 4 Kids booklet has been used by tens of thousands to introduce children to the loving, all-powerful, holy, merciful, just, forgiving, trustworthy and ever-present God. It’s easy to understand, colorful and fun to read. Your kids will love it! Most importantly, it will help them set a solid foundation in their lives they can build on for a lifetime.
We desperately want help you talk with your kids about how to begin a relationship with Jesus today. You don’t know what tomorrow may bring.
For your children’s sake,